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Locomotive profile: Alco’s C630 diesel electric locomotive

By | March 16, 2020

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Norfolk & Western C630 No. 1134 at Roanoke, Virginia.
Norfolk & Western C630 No. 1134 at Roanoke, Virginia.
Norfolk & Western C630 No. 1134 at Roanoke, Virginia.
Rick Johnson
C630

•YEARS BUILT: 1965-1969

•MANUFACTURERS: Alco, Montreal

•OPERATED ON: Atlantic Coast Line, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Chesapeake & Ohio, Louisville & Nashville, Norfolk & Western, Pacific Great Eastern,
Pennsylvania Railroad, Reading, Southern Pacific, others

•NAMES: C630, M630

•QUANTITY: 133

•HORSEPOWER: 3,000

•KNOWN FOR: The first A.C. transmission sold by an American manufacturer

•STATUS: Union Pacific 2907, N&W 1135, and Reading 5308, preserved. Western New York & Pennsylvania 630 still active

10 thoughts on “Locomotive profile: Alco’s C630 diesel electric locomotive

  1. PS The 251’s have found as home in stationary backup engines. Nuclear power plants, water treatment plants etc. And Coltec industries, a successor to Fairbanks Morse, still offers 251’s as well as FM’s Opposed Piston engines. I’m not sure where Alco’s heat exchanger s ended up.

  2. This takes me back …

    Yet again, with the first AC transmission ALCO was ahead of the pack. Unfortunately that is not enough to keep a manufacturer alive in this market. ALCO never recovered from the 244 engine or the pony truck affair.

    The ALCO 251 was a much better engine – I believe it is still produced by, ironically enough, Fairbanks-Morse. The 251 was a truly bullet proof design, but alas too little too late.

    As for the pony truck affair, once again we have an outstanding example of what happens when you make it difficult for your customer to give you his money.

    The above comments are generic in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Shall we not now take a stroll down Washout Lane?

  3. Questions (1) How many of these beasts were low-nose?

    (2) What is the provenance of the still-operating WNY+P?

  4. Once again, Trains Magazine tries to ignore Canada. Exporail, near Montreal, has preserved M630 CP4563 and it has operated in preservation.

    Why do I say once again? An article several years ago on Locotrol operations more or less ignored CPR’s consistent and expanding use of the technology starting in 1969 up to the present, while promoting US users some of which made rather very limited use of it.

  5. Mister Landey:

    Of the Century Series, I think none of them were low-nose, e.g., alligator (or agullator). Some of the RS series were low-nose, built both by ALCO and MLW, but not all.

    I miss those things. I also miss the 539 engine, but I understand the reason for the redesign.

    The above comments are generic in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. I am a sliver in your backside.

  6. Mister Landey:

    I sit corrected. The Century Series did in fact include a low-nose version. My mistake.

    AH

  7. The Norfolk and Western Alco C630 would be splendid in shining Tuscan red paint with the classic round yellow-gold N&W logo, stripes and lettering.

    An earlier N&W Alco RS unit had the occasion to assist in leading three Southern EMD FP7s on the New Orleans – New York ‘Pelican’ in 1963.

  8. When I First Came To Durham 50 Years Ago I Glued Right In On The Southern Running’s East And West On The H Line. Durham Southern Ran To Raleigh Along Glenwood Ave. Across Hwy 70 @ The County Line Then South East Parallel To Glenwood Ave. To Pick Up Cars And Drop Off. At The Southern Yard next To Capital Blvd. The Then Glenwood Yard. The NorFolk Southern Ran South West. On The New Hope Line. Which Was Abandoned When They Built Jordan Lake. Saw The Very Modern Two Engine Unit Leaving Durham In The Morning And Then See Them Arrive In Afternoon Coming Into Charlotte On The NE Corner Of The Old Southern Yard. The Norfolk Western Angle Into North East Durham On Tracks That Are Still There. The Rt. Would Make An Excellent North East Express Way Out Of The City. All The Way To Roxboro NC. Just A Few Things I Have Observed Since 1969. Hope You Enjoyed The Rememberances.

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